I have an old Android TV box (the ZaapTV 509N) that is useless. It was advertised as a $300 subscription-free streaming service for Arabic channels from overseas, but every 3 years they would force a $300 hardware upgrade on you, and now that they've run out of new upgrades, you need a subscription to continue using the device with their service.
The device is running their custom Android ROM on it (4.2.2), and it is pretty locked down. You cannot add a Google account to use the marketplace to install useful apps like YouTube or Netflix. I've been looking at what other custom ROMs I could flash on it to regain control of my device, just installing YouTube and Netflix on it would make this device useful again. I've found 3 candidate ROMs for this, from similar streaming devices with very similar hardware.
I've flashed phones before (ported ROM from a different letter iteration of the same model or straight out CyanogenMod), and all these needed me to connect the Android device to a laptop. With the ZaapTV, the only USB ports are female, so I would need a male A to male A USB cable to connect to a laptop. The only male to male USB cables I have are micro at one end and regular size at the other.
So, I could connect an Android phone to the ZaapTV device. If I move the required ROM to my phone's storage, is it feasible to use my phone instead of a laptop to flash the ZaapTV? Is there an app or a flash utility that is available to do what ODIN and ADB are doing on the laptop?
I do have access to the recovery menu on the ZaapTV. I also have a Raspberry Pi (running Raspbian, a port of Debian). It has an OTG micro-USB. Could that work?